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Preparatory Academy for Writers: A College Board School

Grades: 6-12

Our Insights

What’s Special

Lots of writing in all subjects and solid academics

The Downside

Shared building means a lot traffic in the hallways; school's small size means fewer electives

At Preparatory Academy for Writers (PAW), a small school serving grades 6-12, kids keep journals and have lively discussions in class. The middle school has excellent attendance and above-average test scores. By 8th grade students are tackling high school work and taking Regents exams.

The vibe throughout the school is friendly and calm. We were particularly impressed by how relaxed and focused 6th-graders were in classes immediately after their lunchtime.

Instead of simply lecturing from the front of the room, teachers encourage students to work on their own and in small groups. In a math class, some students may be solving problems at their desk, while another group is writing in their journal about the questions they have, and observations made, while still another group works with the teacher. In English classes, many lessons follow a similar pattern of reading, taking notes and discussing with peers and the entire class.

Students in all grades write a lot and compile portfolios of their best work as well as academic goals they set for themselves. At the end of each semester, students give oral presentations, discussing their work and reflecting on how well they met their goals.

To help with students transition to middle school, 6th-graders have the same teacher for both English and social studies in a double-period class called humanities. Students study algebra for two years starting in the 7th grade; by the end of 8th grade they take Regents exams in algebra, earth science and United States history.

About one-third of the student body leaves for high school, with a few going to super-selective schools like Townsend Harris. Those who stay are joined by new 9th-graders, some of whom have weak skills. The school offers them a lot of support.

Stronger students take a range of Advanced Placement classes. Struggling students take fewer classes that run at least for a double period. For instance, students needing extra help don't take a science class freshman year so they can devote more time to English, math and history; in 10th grade they take a double period of Living Environment. The attendance rate in high school is lower than the middle school. While some students take a demanding college-prep curriculum, the majority of graduates need to take remedial classes in CUNY.

All students participate in small group advisory classes, where they focus on both academic and social-emotional skills. Incoming 6th- and 9th-graders participate in a summer bridge program, a mix of fun, team-building activities and academic assessments, so teachers know their strengths and weakness at the start of the school year.

Housed on the first floor of the large, 1960s-era Springfield Gardens Educational Campus, PAW shares the building with three small high schools:Excelsior Preparatory High School High School, George Washington Carver High School for the Sciences and Queens Preparatory Academy. Students get big school perks such as a variety of sports teams and larger facilities. The downside is that first floor gets a lot of traffic as students from other schools come and go throughout the day to use the cafeteria and gymnasiumboth located on the first floor.

Though PAW was one of several schools founded with support from College Board, the organization ended its affiliation with individual schools in 2013.

There are a few elective classes such as photography. The Child Center of New York sponsors onsite after-school activities for the middle school including arts and sports. High schools students participate in campus-wide sports teams

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are SETSS and ICT classes

(Laura Zingmond, February 2017)

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2022-2023 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
80% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
51% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
77% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
0% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
1% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
79% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
42% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
51% Citywide Average

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
60% Citywide Average
How many students graduate in 4 years?
91% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

Average daily attendance
86% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
45% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
7% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2024 High School Directory

Preparatory Academy for Writers (Q84A)

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.


From the 2024 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Courses

Algebra II (Advanced Math), AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP World History: Modern, Chemistry (Advanced Science), Math (College Course [Credited]), Science (College Course [Credited]), Social Studies (College Course [Credited])

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Flag Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams

Cricket, Stunt

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


143-10 Springfield Boulevard
Queens NY 11413

Buses: Q3, Q77, Q85


Principal: Charles Anderson

Parent Coordinator: Jessica Brown


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Springfield Gardens Educational Campus with three other schools

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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